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HRC45: Nordic and Baltic countries address the special rapporteur on truth, justice and reparation

UN Human Rights Council 45th Session
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with special rapporteur on truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence
16 September 2020
To be delivered by Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi

Madam President,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Estonia.
Mr. Special Rapporteur,
We would like to thank you for your report and hard work in the field.
We strongly concur with the view that past crimes – committed during an armed conflict or by a repressive regime – must be adequately addressed in order to build a democratic, pluralistic, inclusive and peaceful society.  The human rights-based approach should always be prioritized and applied.
Memorialization as a key pillar of transitional justice plays an important role in peacebuilding. Memory processes and accountability should complement each other. Impunity leads to legitimization of violence and contributes to the possibility of recurrence. The acknowledgement of gross human rights violations is essential for restoring dignity of victims and therefore, the victims must play a key role in the construction of memory.
Memory processes should never result in the re-victimization of victims of human rights violations. Memorialization should be based on documentation and archives.  In this context, we would stress the importance of promoting efforts to counter disinformation, and fostering online media literacy as well as digital skills. As we know, disinformation and incitement to violence, hatred or discrimination contribute to the dissolution of societies and encourages violence.
 Mr Rapporteur,
We would welcome you advice to governments on how to always ensure that the voices of victims of human rights violations are central in the construction of memory?